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Survivor Stories of the Peshtigo Fire

This page is dedicated to the people who lived to tell of their survival and stories of the Peshtigo Fire. All submission’s are from the family members and are welcome for posting.

Green Bay Press-Gazette
October 25, 1923
contributed by: grandson Clifford J. Van Beek


Frank Hammes, Well Known
in Sporting Circles Dies
Wednesday Evening

A well known pioneer, politician, and sportsman, Frank Hammes passed away at his home 1421 Cedar st. at 10:15 last night. Mr Hammws, who would have been 70 years of age in November, had been ill fo the last year and a half.

He was born in the Town of Humboldt, Nov 15, 1853, and lived there during the greater part of his youth. When about 18 years of age, he aquired a job in Peshtigo and was working there at the time of the great Peshtigo Fire. Later he moved to Green Bay, and for a number of years, was chairman of the Board of Supernvisors of the Town of Preble. For two years he was sheriff of Brown County, his term expiring about 34 years ago. Then moving to Coleman, which at the time was little more than a water station for the railroad, he practically built up the town with his own efforts. He was engaged in the hotel, restaurant and lumbering businesses there, operating several sawmills, and was supervisor  of the Town of Coleman. He helped to organize and became first president of Coleman State Bank.

Sixteen years ago he returned to Green Bay to live a retired life. With his death there passes a sportsman well known throughout the middle west. Persons aquainted in sporting circles will remember him as the man who never missed hunting deer during deer season from the time he was 15 years of age, and who arose from a sickbed last fall at the age of 68 to journey to the northwoods during the deer season.

He is survived by his widow, two sons, F N Hammes and John P both of Coleman; three daughters, Mrs. Henry Van Vonderen of Coleman, and Mrs George Platten and Miss Kate Hammes of Green Bay; a brother; John Hammes of Padus, Wis; and three sisters; Mrs. Frank Biebel, and Mrs Katherine Dernbach of Green Bay, and Mrs M Ehlinger of Suring.

Funeral will be held at 10 o'clock Saturday morning for SS Peter and Paul's Church, Interment will be at Allouez (both in Green Bay, Wis.)

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